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Poster for Meet John Doe (1941)
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Meet John Doe (1941)

Opens on December 17

Director: Frank Capra Run Time: 122 min. Rating: NR Release Year: 1941

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold, Gary Cooper, Spring Byington, Walter Brennan

Country: United States
Language: English

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About the film:

As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed “John Doe,” who threatens suicide on Christmas Eve. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires former baseball player John Willoughby to impersonate “Doe.” Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it’s worth, until the made-up “John Doe” philosophy starts a national grassroots political movement with the simple slogan, “Be a better neighbor”.

Frank Capra’s Meet John Doe (1941) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story and ranked No. 49 in “AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Cheers”, a 2006 list of the most inspiring films as determined by the American Film Institute.

About the filmmaker:

Frank Capra was an Italian-born American film director, producer and writer whose iconic stories often celebrate idealist underdogs who triumph against overwhelming odds. It Happened One Night (1934) was the first movie to ever sweep the five major Academy Award categories. Capra also won Best Director for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and You Can’t Take It with You (1938) and was nominated for Lady for a Day (1933), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). One of the top directors in the industry, Capra served as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and championed creative freedom as head of the Screen Directors’ Guild. He received a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute in 1982.

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